January 2013

January 2013
Our Little Family of Three

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

news, news, and more news

I am soooooo tired. We've been up for way too long.

Well, I'm sure you're all wondering how the auditions went. Let me share: none of us made it. :) Yeah, that's the truth. We didn't make it. But to be honest with you I'm relieved to a certain degree. I'm sad to another. We went into this audition with the mind-set of having fun no matter what the results were. We were determined to make this a great memory and to support one another no matter what - and we did. It was a blast!

(Ashley, Me, Auriel, & Nikki awaiting the audition process.)

It was scary. We auditioned in front of four judges (none of which were the famous treo) and we auditioned one at a time...well we lined up in groups of four and sang one at a time for the four judges (if that makes sense).. It was very nerve wracking (did I spell that right? I'm too tired to care). I was so nervous. My heart was pounding. I mean, no one likes to be stared at, well no one who's normal. There were a lot of abnormal people who enjoyed the spot light a little too much. But I count myself as normal in this regard. I know American Idol is all about being on stage and in the spot light but that doesn't give people permission to be annoying or over the top. That's my opinion. :)

(Here is a picture of the sectioned off tables where we had to sing for the judges. I auditioned at table #4 with Auriel. Nikki and Ashley auditioned at table #5.)

It was a great experience all together. Ash, Auriel, Nikki, and I had a lot of fun. After finding out we were idol rejects (that's what we called ourselves) we decided to celebrate and go have breakfast with a friend who lives by the state capital building. We went to Village Inn and chatted for a while. After breakfast we went shopping at the gateway mall. We figured we had the day off and we were done with the whole idol thing...why not?

Anyways, we've been able to laugh at ourselves. I think that's important. We saw people crying because they'd been cut. To that we also laugh. Not in a mocking way but in an "are you kidding me?!" way. It's the first audition and everyone should know the majority will be cut....okay, enough of that. I'm just grateful we're able to laugh it off and take it in as a fun experience.

Some other fun news!!!! Our little nephew, Keegan, came home from the hospital today! We're so excited to see him again. He's just the cutest little guy ever. I'll bet Braxton, Marin, & Grayson are loving every second with their new brother. Trav and I were so happy to hear the little guy doesn't have to spend any more time in the hospital. Wahooooo Keegan!!!!!


(Daddy & Mercydez snuggling)

And last but not least! Some more great news! Two women I work with (and Ash used to work with before having Mercydez) have decided to organize a fundraising yard sale for Mercydez. Nic & Ash are overwhelmed with gratitude and very humbled by these wonderful women. They have set the date for Saturday, August 23rd from 7:00am - 5:00pm. It will take place at the following address:

1365 West 1250 South, Orem (intersection of University Parkway & Geneva Road)

They wanted to invite everyone to participate in anyway they can. They are welcoming donations of items to be sold, donation of time (helping before/during/after the yard sale), and/or donations of money (if able and willing). All money earned/donated will be given directly to Nic & Ashley for the care/needs of Mercydez.

If these options are not a possibility, prayers are always welcomed and deeply appreciated.

One of the women organizing this is named Christy. She wanted me to reference her phone number 801-361-8895 and encourage people to call with any questions, concerns, and/or ideas.

Just FYI: they are currently setting up an account with a bank for donating purposes. Until this account is completely set up please send donations to Christy (call her for mailing address but make checks payable to Nic & Ashley Haws). I'll let you know further details when the account is complete.

I was so excited about their idea that of course when they approached me about helping spread the word I totally agreed! This will be so awesome! I am amazed because they have already put a lot of hours in to this and it'll only get more chaotic as it appproaches - but they're not slowing down! Thank you Michelle & Christy. You guys are wonderful.

More info to come as it's available. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An eventful weekend

Wow. Things have picked up speed around here. We had such an eventful weekend! We'll share through pictures:

Thursday July 24th: Pioneer Day!

Travis and Nic had to work - so Ash and I took Mercydez to my parents house for a neighborhood breakfast/picnic. It was so fun to see some of the families we used to live around. We were able to talk to so many people and had a really great time. After about an hour of chatting and eating we had to make a mad rush to my parents house because Mercydez' G-Tube (feeding tube) fell out. We were told the incision would seal within 15 - 20 minutes so we were freaking out. This has never happened before and Ash wasn't trained on what to do. She was given an emergency kit with simple instructions. Ash ended up inserting a catheter into the incision and holding it in place until Moira, mercydez' nurse, could arrive to get it taken care of. Thankfully no damage was done and Moira was able to fix things. But it was still quite the adrenaline rush.
A very proud Ahma showing off her first Grandchild at the neighborhood/ward breakfast. She was totting Mercydez EVERYWHERE. It was really cute! Too bad Papa had to work...otherwise he'd be right next to her, showing off their bundle of joy together!

Alicia called shortly after the g-tube situation had calmed down, around 10:00 and told me her water broke. I wigged! This was very surprising because she wasn't due for another five weeks! I immediately headed up to get the kids in Salt Lake City so she and Cam could go to the hospital. Little Keegan was born that night around 10:40pm!!

While awaiting the arrival of Keegan I took the kids down to Provo for an evening BBQ, some games, and fireworks. It was really hot - even for evening hours - but we still found a way to enjoy ourselves.

July 24th: Braxton, Megan, & Auriel chatting it up on the swing
Marin jumpin' on the tramp. There's always lots to do at the Haws residence. They were so wonderful to let us crash there for a few hours that evening (thanks soooo much if you're reading this!)
Grayson was playing on the teeter-toter with Alex. Grayson has the biggest imagination - he was pretending he was driving a car!
The kids saw the "big kids" playing volley ball and wanted to play too. I thought it was so cute! They were so little on the volley ball court and they couldn't seem to get the ball over the net!

Kacey & Marin are two peas in a pod. They love to tease each other. However, Marin usually ends up crying because Kacey is so much bigger than her. But that doesn't stop her from getting back up and going at it with him some more!

Braxton was continually hugging my mom. Everytime he'd catch her eye he'd say, "LeAnn!" and give her a hug. I told my mom he isn't like that with everyone - especially females. She was very humbled and flattered by Braxtons actions. (the pic is kinda blurry but it's the only one I have)

We weren't able to stay for many of the fireworks. We had to call it an early night because we were all exhausted (and cute li'l Grayson was afraid of the fireworks!) so we compromised with Marin who was wanting to stay out late. Nic gave her a ride home on his motorcycle (thanks again Nic). She loved it! Nic said she was talking to him the entire way home...just a gabbin'!


Friday July 25th

Happy birthday dad!!!!! I have to say I love my dad so much. He has such a good nature about him. He has taught me to love people for who they are regardless of race, culture, religion, or physical appearance. I value that lesson and feel like I am a better person because of my dad. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and that you know how loved and appreciated you are!

Uncle Trav made pancakes for the kids every morning this weekend. He made heart shaped pancakes, mickey mouse shaped pancakes, and did initials too! The kids LOVED it! The circle pancake was supposed to be a "G" but that didn't really work out to well.

Braxton & Marin posing by their beloved pancakes! :)

We just hung out with the kids all day. We played games, watched movies, and walked to the park. It was a very laid back day and it was wonderful. Very, very, very needed!


Saturday, July 26th

Yay!!! We finally got to meet the newest member of the family and he is C-U-T-E!!!!!!

Uncle Trav, Aunt Addy, and Little baby Keegan. Isn't he just the littlest guy ever? He's so precious.

Big sister Marin with Keegan. Doesn't she look proud?! She called her mom over and over and over again to find out if Keegan was born. When we found out he'd arrived Marin flipped. She kept saying how cute he was going to be, and she was exactly right!

Grayson was soooooo excited to see his little brother. He even wore a shirt that said, "Big Brother". It was the first time he could say that and he was thrilled about it. He and Marin were arguing about who got to hold Keegan first. They are so proud of their little brother.

Braxton was excited to hold Keegan as well...however he let it be known he wanted his Uncles to be his brothers and his brothers to be his uncles. We all smile because we know Braxton will be a very loving big brother.

.And of course an updated family picture. Isn't this one of the most beautiful families you've seen? Cam and Alicia have done such a great job raising these kids to be respectful, kind, obedient, and excited to learn (on top of many other great characteristics). Keegan will be such a blessing - I'm excited to see what kind of a personality he'll have. Each of their kids are unique and very much their own individual. We love them very much!

The purity of children always touches my heart. The kids threw coins in this fountain at the hospital (after meeting and holding Keegan) and made wishes. Marin told me her wish was that Keegan would be able to come home in the next few days (Keegan may have to stay in the hospital for another week because he's a premie). These kids have the biggest hearts ever!

We ended the night with yet another BBQ at a park by our home. This BBQ was my dad's birthday celebration, since he worked all day on his birthday. We played a lot of lawn games; Bocce ball, football toss, etc. The food was delicious and the company was even better! Seriously, I love my family. (I forgot the camera so there aren't pictures to post! Darn it!)


Sunday, July 27th

Ashley, Auriel, Nicole (a girl from work), and I went and registered to audition for American Idol this morning. We were up at 1:30 and on our way to the Energy Solutions Arena at 2:30am!!!

The three sisters: There's me looking tired, Auriel looking sexy, and Ashley looking REALLY chipper. He, he, he.

We don't audition until Tuesday morning so we have a day to recoup (sp?). We know it's kind of nerdy but we figure it's something fun and different and we have nothing to lose. We met a few people while waiting in line that really made us laugh. We met a girl who brought her marionette (sp?) with her. I thought it was a little creepy but the girl was pretty cool (I'll have to post a picture of the marionette later. My sister has it on her camera. I thought I took a picture of it but I didn't, so check back). This girl was recorded saying things with her marionette like, "This is American Idol in Salt Lake City!!!" Since we were next to her we had the great opportunity to start clapping and screaming in the back ground. Our goal was to stay away from the cameras but this lady/marionette team totally threw that idea out the window.

We thought this was a great shot of "Nicool" (Nicole). We were so tired and laughing at everything. We had to in order to stay awake!!!

We stood in line for about 3 or 4 hours and were back home by 9:00am. It rocked because I thought it was going to be an all day event! Believe me, we were all thrilled to come home and not have to stand in line in 100 degree weather. Yuck!

While Trav & I cooked breakfast (pancakes again!) everyone piled on Nic & Ashley's bed and cuddled up...notice Braxton is by my mom again. :) I thought this was a cute picture.

After breakfast I snuggled with my little Mercydez. Travis woke me up and made me go to bed. I appreciate him so much because he watched the kids the entire day while I slept. What a great husband and Uncle!! He took them to the park and played games with them. I seriously love him.

By 4:00pm I was barely awake but able to function. We got the kids packed up and took them home. They were SO EXCITED to go home and see mom and dad again. They were also hoping for another visit to Keegan at the hospital. Isn't family great!?!!?? I sure think so.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"The Princess Has Arrived"

The two red-heads of the family: Aunt Auriel & Mercydez

Last night was definitely one of the most fun nights I've had in a while. Nic and Ash threw a 6 month birthday party for Mercydez. It was so incredible. Invited were members of the Haws and Gourley families. MAN! THERE WERE A TON OF US!! I don't think we could have fit any more people into that "large" princess party room.

Ash took the burden upon herself to make the most amazing (and rich) ice cream cakes ever. She made eight of them, with the help of my mom and sister/friends. What an over achiever. Seriously. Nic and Ash are incredible parents and I don't say that lightly.

The proud parents!

Nic and Ash opening presents (the princess was asleep...partied out!)

Wrapped around her little finger: cousin Chandler, Uncle Kody, and Uncle Kolton

We played on the blow up slides, obstacle courses, and other set ups they offered. By the end of the night the employee turned off the lights and turned on disco lights! It was awesome! We were playing tag until 9:00! It was a riot. below are a few pictures of the crew playing - or chillin'! WAHOOO!!!! (some pictures are a little blurry but that's because we were running around)

Uncle Kacey and Cousin Grayson havin' a blast!

Uncle Kody on one of the blow up toys.

Uncle Kacy & Aunt Crystal doting on the girly-girl

Uncle Kacey mauling Uncle Trav. Aunt Megan and Aunt Auriel running for their lives while playing tag (in the back ground).

Cousin Sam, Ahma, Uncle Kolton, and cousin Wyatt

Uncle Kade and Aunt Megan w/the princess - it's her birthday and she'll cry if she wants to!

It was so fun to see my little princess come all dressed up in a pink and white tutu with a shirt that said, "The Princess Has Arrived" on it, and how can we forget the adorable ENORMOUS bow?! She was the star of the show! And she got a lot of deserved attention!!!

Mercydez, Uncle Trav and I love you to bits. You are the cutest litttle thing in the whole world! Thanks, sweetie, for inviting us to your birthday party! ;)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

back home again

Let me just start out by saying...that is one LOOOONGGG drive. By the last hour Trav and I were starting to get irritated. We drove for 16 hours the first day and about 3 hours the second day. needless to say we're happy it's behind us! and I'm so happy to be back with my adorable niece, Mercydez....and Nic & Ash too! I love their little girl! Isn't she beautiful?!! Her eyes are so big and gorgeous.

I wanted to include some pictures from our last few days out in Minnesota. We had the great experience of being in the middle of two serious storms. Infact, both of the storms were so severe - tornado warnings were issued. You can't really tell in the pictures but the sky had a green tone to it. It was very eerie.

The video below was taken from inside the house - we were all going downstairs due to the possibility of a tornado. While it was terrifying it was also very exciting.

Calm after the storm. Isn't it beautiful?
Other than the tornado warnings the weather was beautiful. Trav and I played with Nolan and Katies "girls" - meaning their dogs - Molly (the white and brown one) and Abby. They love to play fetch. Those dogs are absolutely adorable. They have so much personality!!

Nolan, Katie, and Dad treated us to a delicious meal...we had fish. We were lucky enough to have the fish fixed four different ways: fried, breaded, smoked on cedar, and baked. All of them were soooooooooo good! What incredible cooks! :)

And Mom had the table set perfectly. She always pays attention to detail. She has center pieces - which match the napkins (of course!), candles, and beautiful plates, cups, and silverware.

It was so hard coming back. We had such a great time!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

nice and relaxing day

What a day, what a day. It's been beautiful today. Last night a huge rain storm blew through. There was thunder, lightning, and TONS of rain. It only lasted 15 minutes or so, but I'll tell you what everything was fresh and clean today. There's nothing like a good rain storm. I went outside on the screened in porch and just watched. It was incredible. The wind was blowing so hard and the rain was coming down so fast after about 5 minutes I had to come back in the house. But that didn't stop me from finding the nearest window and watching in amazement.

Today the weather was sunny and warm. Ummmmm....I love Minnesota.

Mary Kay, my awesome mother-in-law, took Katie and me out to lunch this afternoon. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch on lake Waconia. We sat outside and took in all the vitamin D we could while sipping our daquiri's (virgin...of course!) and chatting. It was so fun we didn't realize we'd been "at lunch" for almost two and a half hours! It was so relaxing. There was a perfect cool breeze to keep us comfortable while eating outside on the deck, so we didn't over heat or get uncomfortable. Perfecto!

Chris, Timmy, and Travis go way back. They've been buddies for years. They came over for dinner tonight. It was a lot of fun to catch up with them. I mean, it'd been sooooo long since we last saw them. What, it's been like two days or somethin'?!! No, we always have a good time with the guys (and Jen, Tim's wife, of course!!) I love to sit and observe the three of them together. They have so much - yet so little in common. It's hilarious. Trav gave them each a print of his latest work of art. Isn't it cool? For other cool pieces of art done by the one and only Travis Braun go to: http://www.tbraunart.com/

Dessert was delicious as always. We were treated to strawberry shortcake. It was excellent. The Braun's never settle for mediocre. Everything is always perfect here - whether it be decor, food, or company. Seriously, it's all awesome.